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Terrier and chicken obsession

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We have had our chickens for nearly two weeks and are really enjoying their company (especailly my 3 year old daughter) but our border terrier is driving us mad with her chicken obsession. She constantly runs around the run area trying to get to the birds. When they peck her it seems to drive her more crazy. The chickens don't seem to be stressed about her activities but I worry that they are? Did anyone else have this problem? Will she eventually get bored of them? We are considering fencing off the eglu so she can't get near it but with only a small garden this isn't very practical.

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Mmmmmm, difficult one! My old terrier (now sadly RIP) would have spent every minute of every day running up and down the fence between him and my chickens. If I opened the gate an inch, he would have been trying to get in there and it wouldn't have been to play with them! There was absolutely no training him, but the chickens just got used to the barking and learned to ignore him.


My two new terriers (now 3 yrs old) would love to get in to see my chickens (and eat them :evil: ) but they don't run at the fence, they just sit there waiting hopefully. Because we already had the chickens before these two arrived and I've sort of trained them, they know they are not allowed to harrass them, nor dash in the gate when I go in, but they are definitely not safe with them!


Your hens will probably learn to ignore your Border, but it wouldn't do any harm to try to persuade your terror to leave them alone. There are lots of doggie people on here who will have ideas for you, but here are mine.


Distraction - can you call your dog back when he/she starts and reward her with a treat?

No!! - do you have a "NO" type command that he/she responds to? Our's know that NO means "stop whatever you are doing" and somethings they even obey it :lol:

Hosepipe - can you spray him/her with water whenever she starts until she gets the message that hassling the chickens is no fun.

Loud noise - distract him/her with a tin of stones thrown nearby whenever he/she starts. Same sort of thinking as the hosepipe.


Please let me know how you get on. I would love to train my two to be safe with the chickens, but I know that's impossible for them. As soon as something starts to run or flap, they will chase, it will run and flap more and that will be the end of the running and flapping!!

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I have an Airedale Terrier (read "terror" :twisted: ).

She would, without a doubt, eat the chickens in a blink of an eye if she got the chance. Luckily she is bright enough to have worked out that she can't get them in their run, so leaves them alone.

I would recommend the water pistol treatment initially, to see if it puts her off her obsession!

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We have a patterdale / staffy bull terrier cross who pretends shes an angel (has us fooled most of the time!) and a shih-tzu (nuff said) and a whippet cross.

The terrier is miles better with the chooks and is happy for them to free range around her as long as they dont flap or make any sudden movements (visualise grandmother's footsteps!)

We trained the dogs with the old hosepipe (also works a treat on husbands :wink: ) and lots of "LEAVE IT" and "NO" commands (just note that those two commands do not apparently work on the chickens themselves....... :roll: )

We clicker train them and therefore treat them for good behavious - little bits of food or lots of praise.

I do think you will be able to get her calmed down, but even if she does seem loads better NEVER relax - dogs are hunting animals after all and if you have a "pack" like ours there is always the danger of them reverting to type.

Good luck :D

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Terriers are tenacious creatures by nature,especially the smaller ones.


We have a Staffie who is great with the hens,& even comes into their big pen with me when I collect the eggs.

The hens tolerate her presence...just!


To be honest,the kitten is much more of a nuisance when it comes to chicken tormenting :roll:


Not sure what to advise except just plugging away with the commands & the water pistol :?

Maybe try putting something near the hens which will keep her away - I know Rosemay keeps cats at bay,maybe there is an equivilant for dogs???

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